By Steve & Tamami Laser
We’ve been wishing that Ford would bring its new compact Puma crossover to America. And now that they’ve introduced the new Puma ST from Ford Performance for Europe, we’re wishing even harder.
In addition to offering more power, a bespoke chassis, and Recaro seats, Puma ST also comes in one of our favorite shades dubbed “Mean Green.” The new Puma ST is said to introduce Ford Performance driving dynamics to the compact SUV segment for the very first time in Europe.
On the outside, Puma ST gains a Ford Performance splitter integrated into the front fascia, signature ST upper and lower grilles, a big rear roof spoiler, and a unique lower rear diffuser. Standard 19-inch wheels are wrapped with Michelin Pilot Sport 4S 225/40R19 tires. Puma shares Ford’s B-car architecture with the latest generation Fiesta.
Under the hood is a 1.5-liter EcoBoost Ti-VCT 3-cylinder engine with direct injection rated at 200 PS (147kW) at 6,000 rpm, and 320Nm torque at 2,500-3,500 rpm. Teamed with a standard 6-speed manual gearbox, Ford quotes 6.7-second 0-100 km/h acceleration (0-62 mph) and 220 km/h (137 mph) top track speed. The engine and gearbox are shared with the performance Fiesta ST.
Puma ST offers a mechanical Limited-Slip Differential and electronic Torque Vectoring Control. The systems are designed to help optimize front-end traction, enhance cornering, and minimize understeer. Also featured are upgraded brakes, steering, and an enhanced suspension, including Hitachi twin-tube frequency reactive dampers.
Inside, high-tech features for Puma ST include an 8-inch touchscreen with SYNC® 3 communications, FordPass Connect, Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ compatibility, and a wireless charging pad. Also available is a B&O premium sound system.
Puma ST drivers can customize vehicle response via selectable Drive Modes with Normal, Eco, Sport and Track settings. An available performance package also includes Launch Control, with a dedicated display in the 12.3-inch digital cluster.
Heated, bolstered Recaro sport seats, featuring the ST logo, are upholstered with grippy Miko Dinamica. There’s a flat-bottomed leather-trimmed steering wheel, ST gearshift knob, and other goodies.
Rear seat passengers ride in comfort, while the split-folding seat design allows longer cargo to be carried inside the vehicle. Meanwhile, Puma ST’s advanced Driver Assist technologies include Cross Traffic Alert with Active Braking, Active Park Assist, and Pre-Collision Assist with Active Braking.
In addition to standard load space of 456 liters, Puma ST offers the Ford MegaBox storage solution. Mounted beneath the load floor, it provides 80-liters of space for gear, and is said to accommodate a set of golf bags.
If the Puma ST finds its way to America, we’d be happy to put this Mean Green sporty machine on our shopping list. (It also offers Agate Black, Desert Island Blue, Fantastic Red, and Frozen White exterior color choices.)
Note: Features and specifications for European market models mentioned in this story are subject to change without notice
News source and photos courtesy of Ford of Europe GmbH
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